Will Windows 11 run on your current Win10 computer?

Will Windows 11 run on your PC - Showing the Win11 desktop
Will Windows 11 run on your PC - Showing the Win11 desktop

The latest information on Windows 11

Windows 11 is now an official release…

The situation regarding whether or not Windows 11 will run on a computer that currently runs Windows 10  keeps changing. – Hardly surprising given Microsoft’s almost autistic nature. Unfortunately, that situation will keep changing even after the official release date, which was on October 5, 2021. New computers that run Win11 and the roll out as an upgrade that began on that will end by mid-2022.

Note that there is no hurry to upgrade because Microsoft support for Windows 10 only ends on October 14, 2025.

Windows 11 requires Secure Boot

I intend to wait at least a year before I check again to find out if I qualify for an upgrade. My PC uses an M.2 NVME boot drive. It uses the old NTFS file system that uses a Master Boot Record (MBR).  Currently, among other requirements, Windows 11 requires Secure Boot, which is a feature of a UEFI BIOS that uses the relatively recent GPT file system.

If you install Windows 11 on an NTFS MBR file system…

If you install Windows 11 on an NTFS MBR file system, the BIOS that has a UEFI mode uses the old-style standard legacy BIOS mode that cannot provide Secure Boot. Therefore, to qualify for Windows 11, I will have to make a standard backup of my system (not a system image that would restore the NTFS file system) and format the drive to use the GPT file system and then restore the backup. Too much of a hassle for me even if my PC’s processor – a Ryzen 3 1200 (first-generation Ryzen from 2017) – were supported. The other requirements, such as TPM 2.0, are dealt with in this article.

How to convert MBR to GPT drive to switch BIOS to UEFI on Windows 10 –

https://www.windowscentral.com/how-convert-mbr-disk-gpt-move-bios-uefi-windows-10

How to enable Secure Boot on PC to install Windows 11 –

https://www.windowscentral.com/how-enable-secure-boot-pc-install-windows-11

I will keep updating this article with the latest news.

Microsoft says that Win11 will be faster running on the same hardware as Win10

Microsoft says that Win11 will be faster running on the same hardware as Win10. So what given that Win10 using an M.2 NVMe SSD and just 8GB of RAM is so fast on Win10 that it throttles itself back automatically so as not to be too fast for comfortable use?

There will be different ways of doing things and new features, but the learning curve is unlikely to be any steeper than the change from Windows 7 to Windows 10 was. With a bit of exploration, I was able to use Win 10 immediately without any problems. As you can see in the image above, the taskbar is now in the centre of the screen. The Notification Area remains on the bottom right corner.

After the upgrade…

After the upgrade, all your files and programs remain where they were in Win10. Moreover, the upgrade won’t take longer than a few minutes via a fairly fast broadband connection, such as one running 20 megabits per second (Mbps) that most UK users have over a landline connection. That said, I read an article by someone who writes for a major computer magazine that his very fast high-end PC took over an hour to upgrade from Win10 Pro version over a fibre-optic web connection.

No Internet, no Microsoft account, no Windows 11 Home edition at all

He also found out that the hard way that if you’re going to use Windows 11 Home edition in the first place, you must have both an Internet connection and a Microsoft account. No Internet, no Microsoft account, no Windows 11 Home edition. You cannot set up a local user account (an account that just runs on your PC) or even use your PC at all as an offline machine.

Will Windows 11 run on my current PC? – The situation thus far…

It is  free to upgrade from Win 10 to Win11. Earlier versions of Windows do not qualify for an upgrade of any kind..

No security updates for computers that don’t meet the strict hardware requirements of Windows 11

In late August 2021, Microsoft announced that Win10 users can install Windows 11 on PCs that don’t  comply with its strict hardware requirements.  According to Microsoft, “unsupported PCs” are not going to  qualify to receive software or security updates and must install the operating system manually. A manual installation involves formatting the boot hard disk or SSD drive and then performing a clean install. Unfortunately, most users won’t be bothered or won’t know how to do that and so will have to buy a new computer if they want to use Win11. Fortunately for such users, Microsoft support for Windows 10 only ends on October 14, 2025, so there is no need to make the transition until then.

Check for Win11 compatibility by using Microsoft’s PC Health Check app

Microsoft’s PC Health Check app checks to find out if your PC can run Windows 11. Download the app by clicking on the link below, save the file to your Win10 Downloads folder and then run it.  Using the compatibility checker on an unsupported PC produces a waiver stating that “you won’t be entitled to receive updates.”

PC Health Check app – https://aka.ms/GetPCHealthCheckApp

Results of running the PC Health Check app

The results appear as in the image below. You have to scroll down the list that the app creates on your computer to see all of it. Note that this app told me that a processor that is not currently on the support list – an AMD Ryzen 3 1200 – qualifies.  That processor is a first-generation Ryzen model that does not qualify according to Microsoft’s current support list.  None of the first-generation Ryzen CPUs is on the list.

Windows 11 compatibility checker - PC Health Check app results
Windows 11 compatibility checker – PC Health Check app results

Three options from Microsoft to download and install Windows 11

The following Win11 three download options are made available from the link below.

Windows 11 Installation Assistant

1. – Windows 11 Installation Assistant. – Use it to Upgrade a Windows 10 PC to Windows 11. Click on “Before you begin” and read the information before you click on the “Download Now” button.

Create Windows 11 Installation Media

2. – Create Windows 11 Installation Media.  – “If you want to perform a reinstall or clean install of Windows 11 on a new or used PC, use this option to download the media creation tool to make a bootable USB or DVD.” – Click on “Before you begin” and read the information before you click on the “Download Now” button.

Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO)

3. – Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO) – “This option is for users that want to create a bootable installation media (USB flash drive, DVD) or create a virtual machine (.ISO file) to install Windows 11. This download is a multi-edition ISO which uses your product key to unlock the correct edition. ” – Click on “Before you begin” and read the information before you click on the “Download” button.

Download options

Download Windows 11 (provides the three download options) –

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows11

The minimum system specifications required if Windows 11 will run on a Win10 PC

The minimum specifications are:

A modern 1GHz 64-bit dual-core CPU/processor.

Apparently and conveniently for Intel, Windows 11 slows down AMD Ryzen processors by 10% to 15% on demanding applications. Microsoft promises to fix that issue, but surely it should not be a problem at the after-release stage.

 

Note: Microsoft has announced that the processor restrictions only apply to computers upgrading from Win10 to Win11. There are no processor restrictions for new Win11 systems. If the other system requirements are met, including a modern 1GHz 64-bit dual-core processor, any such processor qualifies. In other words, if you install the Win11 from a clean ISO image, Microsoft says it will not check for TPM 2.0. Does that mean you can install Windows 11 on your 64-bit dual-core processor from a decade or more ago? – No, but it should work for computers with much older processors than those on Microsoft’s list of the processors that have support. For example, officially, at present, Win11 only supports the AMD Ryzen processors from the second generation 2000 series (2018) and later series, but you should be able clean install Win11 on on a PC running a first generation (2017) 1000 Ryzen series CPU.

Find out what the make/model of processor your PC runs

If you want to find out the make and model of the processor that Windows 10 is running on, enter system in the Search box and then click the link to the System Information app that appears above it. Look under the Processor heading.

Now you can look up your PC’s processor on the following list to find out if it qualifies.

Windows Processor Requirements [Windows from Windows 7 to Windows 11] –

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/design/minimum/…

4GB RAM memory
64GB hard disk or SSD drive
9-inch monitor with a 1366×768 pixel screen resolution
UEFI, Secure Boot & TPM 2.0 compatible
DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WWDM 2.x

What is the Trusted Platform Module (TPM)?

What Is a TPM, How to Check and Enable TPM 2.0 for Windows 11 [Full Guide] –

https://www.easeus.com/knowledge-center/tpm-for-windows11-update.html

TPM chassis intruded BIOS fatal error message appears at system startup preventing boot –

https://www.pcbuyerbeware.co.uk/blog/tpm-chassis-intruded-bios-fatal-error/

Note that legacy-BIOS-based firmware uses an MBR boot drive that uses the NTFS file system. It boots the system differently from UEFI-BIOS-based firmware. A boot drive that uses the GPT file system is a requirement to use a BIOS in UEFI mode. If that file system is missing the BIOS can only use the old-style standard legacy mode. There is more on this topic further down in this article.

The system BIOS must be set to boot in UEFI mode

The system BIOS must be set to boot in UEFI mode, which itself is a requirement in order to enable another Win11 requirement – Secure Boot. Be aware that to enable the Secure Boot – a feature that only a UEFI BIOS provides – you must format the boot drive to use the GPT file system, not the NTFS file system that uses MBR. – In other words, the system will not boot if you enable UEFI mode in the BIOS on a boot drive that uses the NTFS file system.

Will Windows 11 run on a Win10 PC – How to find out what the bit-version of Win10 is

Windows 11 is a purely 64-bit operating system. There is no 32-bit version as there is for Windows 7 through to Windows 10. Which means that you cannot upgrade a 32-bit version of Win10 to Windows 11. Fortunately, most current PCs that run Win10 also use a 64-bit version. Your PC requires a clean installation of Win11 if it is using a 32-bit version of Win10.

To find out your bit-version of Win10, enter System in the Search box and then click on the System – Control Panel link that appears above the Search box.- Under the Device specification heading look for System type. In my case it says: 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor. – So far, so good in my case.

The upgrade process

The upgrade process will be similar to that of Windows 10 in 2015. Not every computer will be offered the upgrade via Windows Update at the same time. Moreover, only the Win10 computers that pass the qualification criteria can go ahead with the upgrade. Windows Update messages users when Win11 is available for them to download and install.

As usual, you can only upgrade the 64-bit version – Home or Pro – that you are already using. 32-bit versions of Win10 cannot be upgraded. You cannot upgrade from Home to Pro or from Pro to the Home edition..

A new Microsoft Store for Win10/Win11

Microsoft is building a new Microsoft Store for Windows 10 and Windows 11.

How to Install New Microsoft Store for Windows 11 –

https://winaero.com/how-to-install-new-microsoft-store-for-windows-11/

Android apps will be made available on Windows 10 and Windows 11

At long last, both Win10 and Win11 users will have access to Android apps. Apparently in a partnership with Amazon,  How this will happen  has not been made clear yet.  A move that will mean that an increased variety of apps becomes available on Windows. Android apps for Win10/11, won’t be available on the official release date of October 5, 2021. Apparently, this is because Microsoft intends to make them available at some later unspecified date.

Will Windows 11 run on a Win10 PC – Articles of interest on Windows 11

A single Registry entry enables Windows 11 without TPM 2.0 [but TPM 1.2 is still a requirement] –

https://www.askwoody.com/newsletter/free-edition-a-single-registry-line-enables-windows-11-without-tpm-2-0/

Windows 11: Microsoft’s pointless update [Oct. 2021] –

“After a couple of weeks using the beta and a week with the final version of Windows 11, I’ve yet to find a real reason to use it.”

https://www.computerworld.com/article/3636788/windows-11-microsofts-pointless-update.html

5 Ways Windows 11’s Taskbar Is Worse Than Windows 10’s –

https://www.howtogeek.com/761064/5-ways-the-windows-11-taskbar-is-worse-than-windows-10s/

 

About Eric Legge 261 Articles
I am an experienced PC technician who has been the owner and sole writer of the PC Buyer Beware! website since 2004. I am learning all the time in this very dynamic, ever-changing field.